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Subject: Title Envy: Are you kidding me? rss

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Tom Grant
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As we speak, we're playing Dungeon Lords. Here's the situation I'm in:

(1) Played carefully, kept my Evilometer rating low (invested in the room that reduces evil), built a dungeon with 5 corridors and 2 rooms.

(2) Got near the end of the first year. The special event was title envy.
Because I was first in the turn order, I "won" every tie. Therefore, I shot up the Evilometer like a rocket. (This is the event that instructs you to increase the Evil rating for each victory point category in which you're leading.) Ahead or tied in number of corridors, number of imps, number of rooms...

(3) Because of the now-high evil rating (second highest, beyond the Paladin threshhold), I attract a tough wizard. OK, I can handle that.

(4) During the combat, the second combat card is Detect Evil. I trigger it, the paladin moves to my dungeon. Now, I have no chance of stopping the adventurers. The paladin will block traps, heal damage, and I only have a monster that can hit someone in the second row (the ghost). My only remaining trap is useless, too.

(5) The third combat card was Graffiti. That spell would not have fired, had the paladin not joined the combat. Now, on top of having 3 corridors and 1 rooms trashed, I lose my first action in the next turn.

Now, I've defended randomness in games frequently. I'm also happy to roll with the punches that the randomness hands out. But this time, I'm not feeling so generous. My reward for playing well in the first year is, I'm basically out of the running to win. Bleh.
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Dungeon lords is my second favorite game or so. I pretty much never play with special events, because it seems more geared towards that 'haha you got screwed' style of play that I can't get into.
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Alison Mandible
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Doesn't Title Envy only give you the evil if you have an 'exclusive title'? There's no tiebreaker-- if you're in a tie, nobody gets it. I had thought. (It's not like evil breaks ties at the end of the game, right? You just get fewer points for a shared title.)

Also, am I playing wrong, or does the specific special event card get revealed when the event tile is flipped? So you have two full rounds of action to prepare.
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Ben Kyo
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grasa_total wrote:
Also, am I playing wrong, or does the specific special event card get revealed when the event tile is flipped? So you have two full rounds of action to prepare.

Yeah, two full turns to prepare for title envy hardly qualifies as being "screwed by randomness". You know exactly what's coming and how it will affect you. Failure to plan for that is your error, not a flaw in the game.

EDIT: Having said that, I can see how the rule error (+1 evil for every tie just for being the nicest player) would make the event seem unfair, and definitely a lot harder to deal with.
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Noble Knave
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I agree with both of the above. Sounds like you played it wrong, and you did have time to prepare (but not a ton of time).

There's a lot of randomness in DL, but almost everything has a mechanism to let you see or predict that randomness. It's up to the player whether they use it or risk it.
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Paul Grogan
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As others have said, tie breakers don't come into titles. Otherwise, at the end of the game, first player would have a massive advantage.
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Tom Grant
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Many thanks for the replies. Actually, I posted this comment in the hopes that someone would point out that we were misreading an important rule. Clearly we should not have been breaking the ties, at this point.

I don't think, though, that there's a chance to "prepare" for Title Envy. Don't you leave the actual event card drawn a secret until you reach the phase when you resolve it? (In other words, the purple token advances until it's on top of the Event tile, and then you draw the card?)
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Ben Kyo
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Kingdaddy wrote:
Many thanks for the replies. Actually, I posted this comment in the hopes that someone would point out that we were misreading an important rule. Clearly we should not have been breaking the ties, at this point.

I don't think, though, that there's a chance to "prepare" for Title Envy. Don't you leave the actual event card drawn a secret until you reach the phase when you resolve it? (In other words, the purple token advances until it's on top of the Event tile, and then you draw the card?)

So that's two mistakes. No, you draw the event card the moment you reveal the event tile, otherwise yeah, nearly all of them would be nasty shocks.
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Paul Grogan
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Kingdaddy wrote:
I don't think, though, that there's a chance to "prepare" for Title Envy. Don't you leave the actual event card drawn a secret until you reach the phase when you resolve it? (In other words, the purple token advances until it's on top of the Event tile, and then you draw the card?)


If that were the rule, then I wouldn't play the game Everything is revealed ahead of time so you can plan. The only surprise I think is when there is one event which tells you to randomly choose another one, or maybe out of a choice of 3. That can be hard to prepare for.
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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PaulGrogan wrote:
The only surprise I think is when there is one event which tells you to randomly choose another one, or maybe out of a choice of 3. That can be hard to prepare for.

My favorite one, by far! meeple
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Scott Lewis
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Our first game we played it incorrectly and felt similar to the OP, as some events just seemed so opposite each other. I don't remember the exact cards right off, but it's like there was one that did something depending on how many of something you had, and another that did something depending on how little of something you had.

We found our error, played it right the next time, and it was a much more interesting experience - we felt we had a lot more control.
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Kingdaddy wrote:
Many thanks for the replies. Actually, I posted this comment in the hopes that someone would point out that we were misreading an important rule. Clearly we should not have been breaking the ties, at this point.

I don't think, though, that there's a chance to "prepare" for Title Envy. Don't you leave the actual event card drawn a secret until you reach the phase when you resolve it? (In other words, the purple token advances until it's on top of the Event tile, and then you draw the card?)


As others have mentioned this is wrong. The game goes to great lengths to avoid you being "screwed by randomness" and you almost always are given 2 seasons to prepare for anything.

The main exception to this are the spells which if you haven't spied (or invisibility comes) can screw you badly but hey, I'm cool with that.
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Scott Lewis
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allstar64 wrote:
The main exception to this are the spells which if you haven't spied (or invisibility comes) can screw you badly but hey, I'm cool with that.

But even with spells, you have the OPPORTUNITY to look at them (or to avoid them altogether by staying away from wizards).
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sigmazero13 wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
The main exception to this are the spells which if you haven't spied (or invisibility comes) can screw you badly but hey, I'm cool with that.

But even with spells, you have the OPPORTUNITY to look at them (or to avoid them altogether by staying away from wizards).


Yes but in all likelihood you haven't spied on all 4 spells and regardless if you have wizards or not you still care about the fatigue on the spells and especially in year 1 it's not uncommon to be counting on a reasonable level of fatigue to help you. In fact, the most common way I've seen people screwed by random luck is the Invisibility spell coming and getting conquered 1 or 2 extra times because of it.
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Scott Lewis
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allstar64 wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
The main exception to this are the spells which if you haven't spied (or invisibility comes) can screw you badly but hey, I'm cool with that.

But even with spells, you have the OPPORTUNITY to look at them (or to avoid them altogether by staying away from wizards).


Yes but in all likelihood you haven't spied on all 4 spells and regardless if you have wizards or not you still care about the fatigue on the spells and especially in year 1 it's not uncommon to be counting on a reasonable level of fatigue to help you. In fact, the most common way I've seen people screwed by random luck is the Invisibility spell coming and getting conquered 1 or 2 extra times because of it.

In our games, the better players don't care about anything beyond the first spell or two, as either they don't have to worry about the spell, or the fatigue doesn't factor into their strategy (or they just outright beat the heroes in the 2nd round).

Whenever I've been hurt by a spell, it's because I made a conscious decision not to spend an action looking at the spells in favor of something else. When I don't know a spell's fatigue, I always just assume it's the lowest amount when I start planning. When I'm counting on fatigue as important part of my strategy, it's an indication I'm having a less-than-stellar game by letting it get to that point (even in Year 1).

Yes, they can hurt - but the opportunity to look is there; whether the players take advantage of it or not is a risk/decision they have to make on their own.
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David desJardins
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Yes, they can hurt - but the opportunity to look is there; whether the players take advantage of it or not is a risk/decision they have to make on their own.


This isn't much of an argument. It is easy to design a game where you can pay a cost for information but your expected value is much better if you don't pay the cost and take the chances. And so the "optimal strategy" is to take the risk, if the risk bites you that doesn't mean you played badly by not looking, it means the game was designed to penalize you for looking and you did the right thing but were unlucky.

Whether that's actually true for Dungeon Lords, obviously there are different opinions. But certainly it can be true, and the "you could have paid to look, so it's on you when you don't" isn't really a valid argument.
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